Allegro. Concerto for Flute, Harp, and Orchestra in C major K299.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Janice Ortega, harp. Accompanied by music faculty of California State University East Bay. Roberta Brokaw, flute. Allan Gove, cello. Nathan Rubin, violin. Eric Hanson, violin. Joffria Whitfield, viola.
Mozart was part of the classical period in music which was roughly from 1730 - 1820. During this period, the harp was not a recognized instrument for orchestra. Early harps were simple in construction with limited range and chromatic ability. Over one century would pass before the modern harp appeared.
Composers viewed the harp as a variation on the piano in which the harpist "plucked" the strings that were normally struck by a hammer inside the piano. Pairing the harp with the flute was not done. What was his motivation for writing a composition for harp and flute?
The concerto was written in 1778. It was commissioned by a French aristocrat for his own use as a flutist and for that of his daughter, a harpist and a composition student of Mozart. The father was an aristocrat known as the Duc de Guînes. The composition was written with the talent in mind of both the flutist father and the daughter of the Duc de Guînes. This concerto was the only composition that Mozart wrote for the harp.